The Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season officially begins today, June 1, and runs through Nov. 30. Cleco Power encourages customers to prepare as experts are predicting another above-average hurricane season.
“Today marks the start of our hurricane season, and while we all are hoping for a quiet season, everyone should have a plan,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management. “The winds from hurricanes can severely damage electrical equipment especially poles and power lines, resulting in extended power outages.”
Researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) are predicting 17 named storms during the season. Of those, they expect eight to become hurricanes and four to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater. CSU has issued forecasts of hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin for over 36 years. CSU researchers predicted 2020 would be an above-average season, and it was. Last year, Cleco Power’s service area was hit by three hurricanes, Laura, Delta and Zeta, in just two months. “Some areas are still recovering from the 2020 hurricane season,” said Lass. “In Louisiana, we know from experience that hurricanes can cause loss of property and life, so we have to take each storm seriously and prepare in advance. Preparation can help customers stay safe this hurricane season.” Below are steps customers can take to prepare for the 2021 hurricane season:
· Prepare a storm kit – gather supplies you might need during a power outage, including flashlights, batteries, canned food, manual can opener, bottled water, medication and a first aid kit.
· Develop an evacuation plan in case you have to evacuate.
· Have a battery-powered radio to receive updates from the media.
· Review your insurance policies.
· Take pictures or video of the inside and outside areas of your home or business for potential insurance needs.
· Plan ahead for medical or special needs, including your pets.
· Make provisions for a generator, if needed, and test the generator to ensure it works.
More storm preparedness tips can be found online at cleco.com and on Facebook @ClecoPower.